No one knows how many Israeli hostages still alive, says Hamas official

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No one knows how many Israeli hostages still alive, says Hamas official

In an interview with CNN Osama Hamdan, a Lebanese based Hamas official was unable to confirm the number of Israeli hostages still alive in Gaza

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Hamas spokesperson and political bureau member Osama Hamdan
Hamas spokesperson and political bureau member Osama Hamdan

A senior Hamas terrorist has admitted the terror group has “no idea” of how many of the 120 Israeli hostages still captured in Gaza are still alive.

In an interview with CNN, Osama Hamdan, a Lebanese-based Hamas official who is privy to the state of current ceasefire negotiations, was asked directly about how many of those still captured in Gaza were alive.

He replied: “I don’t have any idea about that. No one has any idea about this.”Hamdan also claimed the 7 October Hamas massacre in southern Israel was a “reaction against the occupation” and that “what came after that showed the real face of the Israelis… it’s not the first time they are killing the civilians.”

Speaking from Beirut he claimed the ceasefire plan unveiled by  US President Joe Biden late last month did not meet the group’s demands for an end to the war.Hamdan, who has been part of the Hamas negotiations team on the ground, told CNN that the group needed “a clear position from Israel to accept the ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, and let the Palestinians to determine their future by themselves, the reconstruction, the (lifting) of the siege … and we are ready to talk about a fair deal about the prisoners exchange.”

The end of hostilities must be permanent, he said, and Israel must withdraw from Gaza completely.

“Israel wants the ceasefire only for six weeks and then they want to go back to the fight, which I think the Americans, till now, they did not convince the Israelis to accept (a permanent ceasefire),” he said, adding that he believes the US needs to convince Israel to accept a permanent ceasefire as part of the deal.

Israel has not yet publicly committed to the deal, but the White House has repeatedly stressed that it was an Israeli plan that the government had accepted.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been under pressure to announce his support for the current plan, has said that the war will not end until Israel eliminates Hamas.

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